Saint Seiya Vol. #10 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 19.98
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Saint Seiya

Saint Seiya Vol. #10

By Chris Beveridge     February 05, 2005
Release Date: February 08, 2005

Saint Seiya Vol. #10
© ADV Films

What They Say
The bronze saints continue their battle against the twelve houses of the Zodiac as the race to save Saori's life comes closer to a fatal conclusion. Each battle will test the saints in both physical prowess and mental fortitude as the twelve golden saints of the zodiac defend themselves. The power of the cosmos shines through as the battle to the death continues.

The Review!
The journey through the Houses continues and the challenges become ever more deadly.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. With it being such an older show, we weren't surprised to get an effectively mono mix through the stereo encoding it received. Just about every feels center channel based and overall it sounds decent. The dialogue suffers from a bit of muffling to it and some of the higher end sounds get a touch scratchy at times, but it's nothing that really screams out badly. It's simply a product of its time.

Originally airing back in 1986, the transfer for Saint Seiya here comes across quite well. There's a fair bit of grain throughout the episodes but it's mostly noticeable during the darker sequences or when there is a lot of dark blue on the screen. Colors are varied and look good but obviously lack the vividness from more recent shows. The transfer is thankfully free of problems like cross coloration and aliasing, but the tradeoff comes in the form of some nicks and other bits of dirt on the print.

While the artwork here still looks more cartoonish than the actual show does, this cover goes for the dramatic approach with the four Bronze Saints in the foreground in battle pose mode while the overly large image of the mysterious Gemini Gold Saint looms behind them. The show uses the new logo and nicely lists both the episode numbers and the disc volume. The back cover has a few shots from the show itself and some backdrop artwork to fill things out a bit. The summary provides a look at the premise of the show, which is almost useful to read prior to watching the first episode. Episode numbers and titles are listed and the usual array of production information. The box of technical information is squished down a bit here to fit in but is still quite useful. The insert replicates the front cover while lacking the corporate logos and the reverse side has the episode numbers and titles.

The menu layout is strikingly similar to the cover, which means the image of Gemini's head is used in the upper righter corner with some vibrant colors while the opening song plays along. Selections are lined along the bottom, though there isn't any individual scene selection, just individual episodes. Access times are nice and fast and the menus load quickly. As is the case with most ADV releases, our players language presets were read perfectly.

The included extras are minimal though not entirely unexpected again considering the age. There's a textless version of the opening and ending sequences. There's also a multi-page segment that goes over the mythology of the ancient Greeks.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With twelve Houses to journey through and four Bronze Saints to do it with, there is certainly plenty of room for this show to maneuver as it goes through the current "tournament" style phase where everyone waits their turn nicely in each specific House and roughly fights fair with one on one fights. Of course, it does help that when two of the Bronze Saints are there that one of them runs off to the next House so that it's kept to an even balance.

The five episodes in this volume do a rather good job of progressing the existing fights and moving on to the next ones while also allowing most of the Bronze Saints to have reflective moments on their pasts that bring in new footage. With only one episode doing a half-recap, we get mostly new footage for a lot of this but we also suffer from something that a lot of anime series do – bad episode titling. Listing an episode with "Farewell Hyoga – Rest In Peace" doesn't exactly leave too much to the imagination. A lot of shows do this, particularly from the 80's, when characters lives are at risk so it's not surprising that it's reared its ugly head here.

Of the fights in the course of the series so far, this volume probably has some of the best yet since they're not only rather short but they give the Bronze Saints a chance to progress in their skills. The opening episode concludes the fight between Andromeda and the Gold Saint for Gemini rather well but it really puts Andromeda through his paces first. With the alternate dimension gig and then the reworking of his nebula chain, he's had a difficult time just like he seemingly does in every other fight, but he's also the first I believe that's managed to achieve his seventh sense and expand his cosmos power. This achievement allows him to finally take down the Gemini saint in an interesting way.

Hyoga's fight turns out to be the most interesting of the batch I think but also the most predictable due to the previously mentioned episode title. He resurfaces after being thrown into another dimension in a House further down the line but he's faced with an odd man out Saint in the form of Camus, his masters master. Camus has come down to deal with him personally by getting him to leave but Hyoga tries to the reasoned approach first in hopes of getting him to see the light based on what happened to the Crystal Saint, the one real connection between the two. With flashbacks to both his training with the Crystal Saint as well as to his mothers undersea tomb, it's all brought together nicely to give Hyoga a really empathic moment but at the same time it's designed to by heart wrenching since they kill him off fairly quickly.

The heavy focus in this volume comes from Shiryu though as he takes on a rather powerful Gold Saint in order to allow Seiya to proceed forward. Upon entering the House of Cancer, the two are shocked to find that the walls and floors are covered in human faces, mostly men that the Saint named Deathmask has killed, but also those of women and children who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. His killing of them has caused them to take residence in the house as they spirits caught between two worlds who cannot move on, something that Deathmask really likes but disgusts the two Bronze Saints to no end. With Seiya out of the way, the blind but powerful Shiryu faces his greatest challenge yet in Deathmask.

What's amusing in the multi-episode fight is that Shiryu gets tossed to the Land of the Dead twice and the second time Deathmask actually comes down to that level in order to ensure that Shiryu doesn't come back for a third time. The two are quite powerful and with the addition of a seventh sense power, Shiryu has plenty on his side to fight for. Their battles in the Land of the Dead are especially neat since there are a few things down there that add a creepy level to it, such as the unresponsive Hyoga and the ever helpful Saori. Having Saori appear there as she's between life and death herself was a nice idea and it lets here character have some influence while the others are trying to save her life. But it's really the big fights between Shiryu and Deathmask that are the best here, especially since in the Land of the Dead he can see and also because Deathmask causes things to happen that drive Shiryu to near madness.

In Summary:
The mixture of the flashbacks and the present day fights, most of which are tied to their pasts, are well done here and other than the obvious moments such as with Hyoga, are fun to watch since you can't be too sure how they'll go. Seiya himself gets the short end of the stick in this volume but I think it's made up well by some of the interesting revelations we get from the Pope, especially in how he's being attacked mentally now, and the flashbacks that we do get aren't just repetitions of previous revelations but expansions upon them that help to add more color to the world that's been built here. Like a lot of tournament style shows, when you get to the end of this volume you want to put another one in right away, and that's the kind of sign I look forward in a series.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,"The Mythology of Saint Seiya",Clean opening and closing animation

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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